A Translation into English of Khalil I. Al-Fuzai’s1 “A Point of Change”2
Keywords:Khalil Al-Fuzai, Saudi, short story, “A Point of Change”
AbstractLike other main characters in this collection, the nameless protagonist of this story has to take care of his mother and brother for no other reason than that he is the elder male in the family. Culturally an elder son should carry his father’s economic responsibilities after the father’s death, as is the case in this story.Yet, at the same time that the society requires the elder son to take care of his family, it does not take into consideration his physical and mental condition. Khalil I. Al-Fuzai explores this issue with the son’s vision that: “all his life is a waste . . . and all his days are boring.”A chance takes place towards the middle of the story and leads to the recovery of the protagonist’s identity. Children playing soccer and successive incidents help him to reconcile his identity with a tradition that requires him to live a tragic life for no reason except he is the elder son in the family.Trying to rescue a child, the main character throws himself into the water before the boy drowns in the sea. Through this action, he regains his confidence in the meaning of his life. The seawater that he dives into gives birth to a new feeling about and understanding of his life. This story shows how one action may change a person and give him honor. The protagonist feels he has done something significant. Hence his life has meaning. Thus, self-distrust, disappointment, and self- depreciation should not prevail in the lives of individuals who face discouraging, frustrating, and disappointing troubles. 3
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